Smart SpendingSmart Spending

A small change that saved big bucks

Reader nixed phone fee 10 years ago and is now $600 richer.

By Donna_Freedman Nov 2, 2009 1:41AM

Recently, a Smart Spending message board reader posted a plaintively titled thread, "Can anyone list all of the proven ways of saving money? Not about cups of coffee or restaurants." 

If anyone could do that, he'd publish it in book form and retire early, and rich. Besides, cutting back on restaurant meals and coffee away from home are proven ways of saving money. And small changes can mean big savings, noted a reader posting as "Great Arm."

In her case, $600 worth and counting. 

Great Arm eliminated her landline's $5 monthly 'line backer' fee, which covered any phone-line issues inside the house. Five bucks a month doesn't sound like much, does it?

"I did this 10 years ago," the reader notes. "That's over $600 I didn't have to spend. I've never had a problem with the phone lines inside my house."

Personally, I've never paid this kind of fee either and in more than 30 years of phone ownership have also never had a problem inside the house. Think of all those greenbacks that Ma Bell didn't get. So check your own phone bill and see if you're paying out this kind of money each month.

If you don't want to take that chance? Put $60 a year into an account against the possibility that your interior phone line will go kerflooey. Best-case scenario: Thirty years from now the account will still be growing and your phone will work just fine.

Published Feb. 11, 2009


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